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Regime Vilifies NZ Again

Issue No: 306 20 December 2000

The Qarase regime has described New Zealand as culturally arrogant and insensitive.

The regime was responding to reports that NZ was lobbying to get the next Pacific Forum meeting hosted in Niue rather than in Fiji.

In a press statement taken out by the regime's Information Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, stated that at the last Pacific Islands Forum meeting it was "unanimously agreed that the venue for next year's Forum meeting would be left to the current Chairman of the Forum, and that is the President of Kiribati, to decide". Kubuabola stated further: "If New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, is now going round the region lobbying Pacific Islands Governments to shift the venue for next year's Forum Meeting from Fiji to Niue, he is actually acting in total disregard of this collective decision of Forum Leaders at the Kiribati Forum. It is an act of gross disrespect for the Forum Chairman."

Kubuabola's typical style of personal attacks and vilification of people and nations who do not agree with the regime's racism is the hallmark of the Qarase regime.

Qarase himself has many times resorted to threats to those who stand for pro-democracy in Fiji. More recently, speaking at the Tourism Forum, Qarase himself stated that NZ had an "unhelpful and unfriendly position". He went on further to state: "We wonder why a close neighbour is so poorly informed, judgmental, insensitive and lacking in understanding of a very complex situation".

The People's Coalition Government has expressed its utter disgust at the conduct of the Qarase regime.

END 20 Dec 2000


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